Tinnitus is a ringing noise in one or both of your ears. It usually isn’t triggered by external noise. It’s a constant sound that is usually high-pitched. It can be caused by many things which are also why it is so common. Approximately, 15-20% of adults will eventually experience tinnitus. That means there is a high chance of you having to learn to live with it. However, a ringing noise can come and go, so knowing when you have tinnitus and therefore when to visit an audiologist is half the battle. Let’s see what the most common signs are.

Causes to note

Damaged hairs in the cochlea are the reason why tinnitus develops. The hairs absorb soundwaves and the nerves they are connected to transfer the vibrations to the brain. So, usually, tinnitus is down to two things. It’s either due to an injury or due to old age.

‘Ringing’ noise

The most common noise you might hear is a ringing noise, but there are many others. It could sound like a buzzing noise or a low hum. Some people say they experience a hissing noise while others say they experience a clicking or even a roaring noise. It’s key to know when you have tinnitus because sometimes, it may just be something that comes and goes during seasonal or bodily changes. Having high blood pressure can also cause noise in your ears but it doesn’t mean something is wrong with your hearing.

Hard of hearing

As you can imagine, the most common sign of tinnitus is that you become hard of hearing. Sounds do not absorb as well, and this means you may not be able to tell how far something is, which direction it may be in, and simply, how loud it truly is. This can cause people to talk louder than they should.

Loss of confidence

As the ringing noise almost drowns out every other noise, it can cause a loss of confidence to go outside alone. You may feel that you won’t be able to hear what a clerk is saying to you at the supermarket, or perhaps crossing the road becomes more frightening. As you cannot hear as well, it can cause you to not remember key events anymore. If you have tinnitus and you’re introduced to your granddaughter for the first time, if you cannot hear what her name is properly, you might forget what it is. All of this causes a loss of confidence in ourselves.

Seeing an audiologist

If any of this seems familiar, then it’s time to go and speak with an audiologist. They will run tests on your ears and hearing ability to find out just exactly what is going on. You will then be given treatment options that include selecting a hearing aid right for your lifestyle. If you would like to know more about tinnitus and our treatment options, feel free to contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.